Sarah followed the sound of John’s voice into the kitchen. He sounded happy. Very happy. She wondered what had changed while she was outside.
Not that he’d been sobbing bowls of misery everywhere before. It was just different. Something was different and she didn’t know what it was.
John’s voice stopped as Sarah entered the kitchen. She looked around and found the reason for his silence. He and Clarice were happily kissing each other again.
She sat on her chair at the table and watched them. Despite his apparent happiness, their kissing was still very peaceful. She frowned at that.
Was it really nice to kiss like that? Or was it better to be all face-wild? It didn’t look unpleasant. Just not very exciting. But they both seemed to like it. Neither one was pushing for a more extravagant kissing style. At least, not that she could tell.
She tapped her index finger against her lips. Why did people feel the need to kiss each other’s mouths anyway? It had to be a pleasant thing. Otherwise, why bother doing it?
She remembered how Ambrose and Barbara had kissed.
Yep. It definitely had to be a pleasant thing. Still, it was a strange place to kiss someone. Sarah wondered how such a custom came to be. Who started it? Was it just an American thing? Or did people in other countries do it too? If so, how did those other countries’ people find out about that custom?
Maybe it was just a human thing. No different than breathing or sighing or eating. People just kissed and that was that.
Sarah looked down at her hands and sighed. There were so many questions and not nearly enough hand gestures. Or maybe not enough hands.
If only she had another way of expressing all of those thoughts and questions! Writing would have been a good way of doing it, but no one had ever bothered to teach her. Because there was no need for an XQ to learn such a skill. If she could write, she could betray. If she couldn’t write…
She scowled. Carthage could have taught her. Anyone worthwhile at The Institute could have taught her. But they saw her as just a weapon. Just a bullet. Just a loaded gun. A flash of cannon fire. Fire. One hundred percent fire.
Weapons didn’t need to learn to write.
Fire was just supposed to burn and that was all it needed to do.
She stomped her foot on the floor. If Carthage were there, she’d show him just how hot fire could burn. Her knuckles turned hot orange. She’d show him right into his face.
“Oh, dear!” Clarice said. “Is that really the time? Goodness! I’d better get myself back home before it gets too dark out.”
Sarah hopped out of her chair. Her knuckles returned to their normal color as she headed towards John and Clarice.
They weren’t kissing anymore and they weren’t even hugging. But they were still standing close to each other. Sarah nodded in approval.
“Will you be okay driving home this late?” John asked. “It’ll be dark by the time you get home.”
Sarah tugged on Clarice’s sleeve. As soon as she had the older woman’s attention, Sarah pointed at Clarice and pointed at the floor.
Clarice smiled. “You want me to stay?”
“Oh.” She glanced at John. “I’m not sure if that’s a good idea.”
Sarah eyerolled at that.
“Unless…John? Do you want me to stay?”